Tuesday, March 29, 2011

PCA Strategic Plan - Progress??

Here in the frozen north, far from the warm breezes of Atlanta, I've been mulling over the PCA Strategic Plan passed at last year's General Assembly.  Most are aware that the plan was hotly debated: some measures passing by a slim margin of just a few votes.  From time to time stories have shown up in the denominational magazine explaining some new development in the implementation of the Strategic Plan.  Here is a brief list of those stories:  

1) After the amendments to BCO 14 were soundly defeated, within a few days byFaith reported that a new funding plan would be offered in 2012.

2) Concerning the issue of safes places for debate, byFaith also put forth a story soliciting input about potential topics for discussion.  After the general voting was closed byFaith announced a final ballot of five topics (click on the link and you can vote for your favorite).  The top vote-getter will be the topic at General Assembly in Virginia Beach, Virgina.

In all of this activity I see a glaring omission.   One element of the Strategic Plan received nearly unanimous approval - the 17 Point Proposal put forth by Northwest Georgia Presbytery for renewal of our denomination.  Originally it was put forward as a substitute for the Strategic Plan.  Through parliamentary procedures this plan was blocked in committee preventing it from being considered as a substitute (one denominational leader spoke publicly on the floor of the General Assembly and described it as 'hostile' to the Strategic Plan).  In the end it was tacked onto the existing Strategic Plan and passed unanimously.  Yes, you read that read that right - it was passed without dissent. 

But here's the question:  In the last 9 months what progress has been made on these 17 points?  I have yet to see a story in byFaith detailing how the Cooperative Ministries Committee is implementing the calls for these items passed without dissent...

* A renewed commitment to the centrality of the God-ordained, efficacious means of exegetical, Christ-centered, application-filled, expository preaching.

* A renewed commitment to the centrality of the God-ordained, efficacious means of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

*A renewed commitment to the centrality of the God-ordained means of private, family and corporate prayer.

*A renewed commitment to - and delight in - the Lord’s Day.

* A renewed commitment to catechize our covenant children in our homes and churches.

Click here to read the entire list (including Scripture references.  Something entirely lacking from the Strategic Plan).

At the time I feared that the vote for these 17 points was less than sincere.  The lack of action from the Cooperative Ministries Committee over the last nine months and the silence of byFaith prove me right. 

There is still time before we convene in Virgina Beach for our denominational leaders to rectify the situation.  But I'm not holding my breath. 


Anonymous said...

That denominational leader is correct. The 17 Point Proposal is not only 'hostile' to the Strategic Plan; it is the opposite of the Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan is man-centered transformationalism. The 17 Point Proposal is God-centered, word and sacrament honoring.

Dave Sarafolean said...


I thought that the use of the word "hostile" was very telling. "Hostile to what?" is the natural question that follows. Answer: "Hostile to our wisdom, our agenda, our plan."

This is why I thought Dr. Robert Godfrey's essay on Courageous Calvinism (see Always Reformed by R.Scott Clark and Joel Kim) was so spot on.